Is overstaying in a country considered a criminal offense?
That depends on what country you are overstaying in. In MOST countries, overstaying your visa is a criminal offense and no "police statement" will mitigate that fact. In the U.S., overstaying is illegal...period. The penalty is usually deportation at worst. In places like Mexico, overstaying is a criminal act that they toss you in prison for then deport you after you serve your prison time should you survive it.
If I avoid getting served civil papers, can i get a warrant issued out for my arrest?
Courts make a reasonable attempt to serve papers. Your ordered to appear, and the myth that if you avoid being served then you've never got to answer your calling, is a complete fabrication of hollywood. There is of course, the thought that if something were to have extreme circumstances, like say there was reason to believe the child is in harms way, the judge could order a bench warrant, which basically gives the sherriff's office the authority to pick you up & haul you up to his bench to take care of these issues. But as far as going to jail, no you don't have anything to worry about at the moment. But keep in mind that if you piss off a judge that can all change.
What do you think Deported Criminal Illegal Immigrant Murders Baby?
In the latest example of the government’s failure to protect the nation from criminal illegal aliens, a man responsible for the atrocious murder of a California infant has turned out to be a drug-addicted illegal immigrant deported after a felony conviction. Somehow the violent criminal, Juan Sanchez, sneaked back into the U.S. and lived under the radar in the southern California community of Rancho Cucamonga about 50 miles from Los Angeles. He recently beat his girlfriend’s 8-month-old son to death after the infant’s nose was “mistakenly” wiped with the methamphetamine-laced cotton swab Sanchez used to clean his pipe. Fearful that he would be sent to prison, Sanchez forbade his girlfriend from seeking medical care when the baby became sick from the drug exposure. For three days the barbaric convict tried to get the infant “off the high” by shaking him, slapping him and tying him to a bed. When the baby was finally hospitalized, he had a skull fracture, bleeding in the brain, detached retinas and a broken arm. The mother and Sanchez have been charged with the infant’s horrific murder. A sad component to this depressing story is that Sanchez should not have even been in the U.S. because in 2001 he was convicted of robbery and deported. He crossed the border illegally and authorities had no idea of his whereabouts until he committed this heinous crime. Just last month a previously deported Mexican man with a criminal record killed an entire family when he crashed his car into theirs on a Houston freeway. The illegal alien (Juan Felix Salinas) had been deported two years ago and was free on bond in a criminal case yet was allowed to remain in the country. He had a blood alcohol level three times the Texas legal limit when he murdered the family. http://www.corruptionchronicles.com/2007/09/deported_criminal_illegal_immi.html
What constitutes prison time as oppose to jail time?
Jail facilities are run by the county - meaning the sheriff's department. This is essentially a criminal "hotel" because it involves a short stay. Individuals who are arrested will be booked into jail - and may bond out or be released almost immediately. If a judge sentences a defendant to serve less than one year, that defendant will serve that time in the county jail. Prisons are for more lengthy terms - at least one year. Defendants are sentenced to serve prison time when they have committed a serious offense and/or when they have been in and out of jail so often the judge has to recognize that short sentences are getting through to him. You have state prisons and federal prisons. They are not run by a sheriff's department - but by correctional officers. Federal facilities are run by the Bureau of Prisons and house inmates convicted of federal crimes. Inmates can be transferred to any federal prison anywhere in the country - so a Florida resident convicted of robbing Florida banks can serve his time at the Federal Correction Institution in Lompoc, California. If that Florida resident had been convicted of robbing a grocery store, he would be sent to a prison facility within the state of Florida. Generally 18 months means prison. But if the prisons are over-crowded it is POSSIBLE he could do his time in jail. I would expect that he'll be transferred to a prison based on what you've described about his history. Usually the folks who get to stay at the jail are non-violent offenders.
What happens if a person on an H1-B is convicted of a crime?
Thanks for the ATA. There is a fairly long list of crimes for which someone becomes deportable and hence can be deported. There are other crimes for which they may not be deported, but for which they would be denied readmission if they leave the USA temporarily voluntarily and try to get back in. There are, however, some relatively minor crimes—such as a DUI or a disorderly conduct—which shouldn’t result in someone’s deportation. Any time someone who is a noncitizen is charged with a crime, they should be seeing an immigration lawyer as well as a criminal defense lawyer to see if there are ways of minimizing the immigration consequences.The rules are slightly—and I emphasize just slightly—more lenient for someone who has been here at least five years. But—again—I emphasize that any noncitizen facing criminal charges needs to see an immigration lawyer ASAP.Note also that there may be employment consequences for criminal activity for an H-1B holder just as there would be for a citizen. The difference is that if they are fired for criminal activity while on an H-1B, they would lose their H-1B status and potentially have to leave the country. This would be the case even if the crime itself isn’t serious to render them deportable.In addition to my own experiences as an immigrant, I was the victim of a crime perpetrated by a defendant who appeared to be a noncitizen (although in the country legally). The defendant is currently serving his prison sentence. As part of his plea bargain, he had to agree to cooperate with any efforts ICE might make to deport him after he is done serving his sentence. Of course, he has multiple felony convictions—it is often different if it is just a single relatively minor misdemeanor. His plea bargain took place during the Obama years—repeat felons have never been especially welcome in the USA although there was much less drama under Obama.
What specific law is broken by overstaying your visa in the U.S., is it a felony or misdemeanor, and what penalties (prison or fine) may be imposed?
The only penalty while in USA for overstaying is deportation. If the ICE finds and arrests you, the Immigration Court may decide to keep you in detention (immigration prison) if they think you are likely to flee. However, if you have a family and the court thinks you can be trusted to return for subsequent proceedings, then it may let you wait outside detention.8 U.S.C. 1227 (a)(1)(C)(i)Nonimmigrant status violators.-Any alien who was admitted as a nonimmigrant and who has failed to maintain the nonimmigrant status in which the alien was admitted or to which it was changed under section 248 , or to comply with the conditions of any such status, is deportable.INA: ACT 237 - GENERAL CLASSES OF DEPORTABLE ALIENSIf you overstay and leave after 180 days, you are barred (prohibited) from entering USA for 3 years. If you overstay for more than one year, the bar is 10 years. This is based on 8 U.S.C. 1182 (a)(9)(B).INA: ACT 212 - GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILLITYIf you return after being deported, then you are committing an offense punishable by fine, or confinement up to 2 years, or both. For certain categories the penalty starts at 20 years in prison, according to 8 U.S.C. 1326.INA: ACT 276 - REENTRY OF REMOVED ALIEN
Is it possible for a green card holder to be deported if found guilty of elder abuse?
Yes. Green card holders are still “aliens”, non-citizens, and are still subject to deportation. A California law firm explains it well in a blog:Elder Abuse Can be Considered a Deportable Offense under Federal LawIf you are not a U.S. citizen, a conviction for elder abuse is a deportable offense pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1227. Federal law defines specific conditions under which a non-citizen (“alien”) shall be deported from the United States. You can be deported if your conviction:Involves a crime of moral turpitude and is within five years (or 10 years pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1255(j).) after the date of your admission; orIs punishable by a sentence of one year or more; orIs a second or subsequent separate crime of moral turpitude; orIs an aggravated felony.You need to understand that a misdemeanor conviction of elder abuse is punishable by a sentence of one year in jail. It does not matter whether you actually serve one year or not. It is enough that the crime is punishable by one year. Therefore, it may be considered a deportable offense under federal law.Elder Abuse in Ventura County Could Send You To Jail or Out of the Country - PC 368, 8 U.S.C. § 1227 - Southern California Defense Blog